Muddies pumped for finals
THE finals-bound Douglas Muddies are pumped up and ready to prove a point: they have what it takes to play toptier cricket.
Both the second and thirdgrade sides are firm favourites ahead of this weekend’s Cricket Far North semi-finals.
The seconds will be confident of another strong win when they host Norths – the team they rolled for just 75 last round – while the thirds take on Mareeba at Griffiths Park in Cairns.
But the Muddies’ senior sides will this weekend be hunting more than just spots in their respective deciders.
After several years of success, the club has decided to formally apply for a spot in the CFN First Grade competition from 2016/17 onwards. Muddies secretary and senior coach Darren Hussey said the club was ready to again compete at the region’s highest level of club cricket, despite a failed attempt in the late-1990s.
“We know there’s a bit of work to be done but we already meet about 99 per cent of the criteria,” he said.
Hussey said the club’s members had unanimously decided to launch a bid to field first, second and third-grade sides next season.
But he admitted the Muddies would have to recruit wisely over the off-season to ensure they had the depth to compete across all grades.
“There is a bit of work to be done but we have a few things in mind,” Hussey said.
“We’ve got some great juniors coming through, but we might even look at bringing in some players from overseas.”
But the CFN would be hesitant to introduce a ninth club to the First Grade competition because it would impose the need for a bye each week.
A Muddies First Grade side would be likely to replace the struggling Innisfail who, this season, again finished bottom of the table.
Turning to this weekend’s fixtures, Hussey said a good start was crucial for the seconds in their Semi-Final against Norths.
The Muddies bowlers were fierce last round with strike bowlers Ben Vikionkorpi and Daniel Harris ripping through Norths’ top order.